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US – Only three per cent of tribal casinos confident normal operation will be back by the end of the year

By - 10 August 2020

Troy Wyatt, founder of Seattle Entertainment Group, recently conducted a survey to understand how Native American casino owners are handling reopening during COVID-19 with only three per cent of casinos are confident they can resume normal operations by the end of the year.

Troy contacted over 457 tribal chairmen-women and over 230 CEOs from native-owned casinos nationwide and compiled the most compelling results of his Native casino COVID-19 survey on his website and found that six per cent of native-owned casinos are still closed.

Around 92 per cent of casinos say they have the procedures in place to reopen safely with 97 per cent of casino owners surveyed saying that the $8bn in COVID relief funds is not enough to mitigate the economic impact caused by the crisis.

On a normal day pre-COVID, there is a shortage of safe drinking water, healthy food, power, stores, and housing in remote tribal reservations. During COVID, those kinds of problems are amplified and cause a ripple effect. That very ripple could lead to a mass dissolution of the tribal governments who are in charge of governing their tribal-state(s).

“It’s uncomfortable admitting your struggles, and failures or frailty to another person. I was honoured to hear the empowered voices from tribal leadership across Indian Country and I’ll never forget what they’ve told me during the survey,” says Wyatt. Troy has heard stories his whole life from family and elders, but these stories were different according to Mr. Wyatt.

“When we share our stories, we have the powerful ability to inspire, motivate, and be challenged. It’s reassuring to see more and more tribes working together to share stories, product pricing, and collective ideas” proclaimed Mr. Wyatt. Meanwhile, casino CEOs and tribal leadership, admit they have been working overtime and then some. One thing is clear, casinos and tribal governments are all doing their absolute best to maintain a safe balance within their communities. The casino reopening strategies vary slightly from tribe to tribe, and sadly, not one solution fits all scenarios 100% of the time” stated Mr Wyatt.

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